Over forty years since the release of their first album, The Doors remain one of the most influential rock bands in history, and Jim Morrison one of popular music’s sexiest-ever frontmen. Indie-favourite Tom DiCillo is a fan and his move into documentary making clearly something of a labour of love. Chronicling the band’s rapid rise, comparatively short reign and the self-destruction and early death of their lead singer, it focuses firmly on Morrison, with the help of a rich collection of previously unseen material, much of it shot by Paul Ferrara, a friend of Morrison’s from their time together at UCLA’s film school. Boasting even greater rarity value is the inclusion of footage from HWY: An American Pastoral, Morrison’s ‘lost’ experimental film, which he acted in and directed. DiCillo provides some context by linking the band with the countercultural zeitgeist of the late 60s, but this is very much the backdrop rather than the main event. Live footage and studio sessions cover pretty well all the greatest hits and plenty more, and since the film debuted at Sundance, Johnny Depp has been recruited to add a new voiceover. —bfi
Should have been MUCH better, it took them two years of editing, one infamously negative film festival showing of the original cut, and then they had to bring in Johnny Depp to redo the narration. I only give it 3 stars because the footage is good, but the film isnt.
The unreleased footage is riveting, but otherwise the documentary doesn't really go much of anywhere. Too short to be of any real impact. Very promising, but in the end completely disappointing.
Johnny Depp’s faux-Hunter Thompson tones… read review